Paying Fans to Sue After Cristiano Ronaldo No-Show

  • By Yang Eun-kyoung

    July 31, 2019 11:26

    Football fans are mobilizing to file a class-action lawsuit against the organizers of a football friendly here last Friday after the advertised star of the evening, Cristiano Ronaldo, failed to play.

    Juventus and the K-League All-Star team played the friendly, but Ronaldo never spent a second on the pitch.

    Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his partner Georgina Rodriguez after receiving the MARCA Legend award in Madrid, Spain on Monday. /Reuters-Yonhap

    A law firm here has so far gathered over 2,000 plaintiffs for a lawsuit against TheFasta, the agency that organized the match, for breach of contract.

    The case is without precedent here, but some legal experts believe the court can only scrutinize the terms of the contract between TheFasta and Juventus.

    A clause in the contract requires Ronaldo to play at least 45 minutes of the friendly, but neither the website that sold the tickets nor the match's official website and the ticket itself mentioned it.

    That means ticket holders could not reasonably have expected a guarantee that their hero would play and have no standing in the dispute, which is between TheFasta and Juventus.

    Football fans pack the World Cup Stadium for a friendly match between the K-League All-Star team and Juventus of the Italian Serie A in Seoul on July 26.

    But other legal experts say advertising and advance press hype focused heavily on Ronaldo.

    Baek Dae-yong, an attorney at Shin & Kim, said, "Tickets costing up to an eye-watering W400,000 were sold out in two-and-a-half hours with fans shouting out Ronaldo's name throughout the game, and this would only have been possible if they believed he was contracted to play (US$1=W1,182)."

    The match generated revenues of W6.5 billion. One lawyer said, "It all depends on whether a judge will abide by the traditional method of looking only at the signed contract or admit a wider interpretation of contractual terms."

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